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As with any other technology, the cloud isn’t perfect. Cloud service providers of course utilize multiple cybersecurity techniques in order to ensure their customers’ safety. Still, there are some precautions you may consider taking on your own – especially if you deal with a lot of sensitive data or develop your own digital products on a daily basis. Read more to learn about the potential threats.

Some businesses require more advanced solutions when it comes to cybersecurity than others. It all depends on the amount and what type of data an organization processes and what types of business tools it uses – so, in general, how it operates day-to-day. While cloud service providers protect their networks in many ways, if you are planning to work intensively in the cloud, you should learn what cybersecurity solutions they apply on their infrastructure and what the potential risks are for cloud users.

The importance of cloud technology for business

Moving from obsolete, on-premises data centers to the cloud allows companies to gain more business flexibility, thanks to which they can become more competitive. In fact, during the last two decades, more and more organizations have decided to draw on the cloud’s potential. 

 

A pay-as-you-go pricing model enables companies to pay only for the resources that have actually been used – resulting in reduced costs of running the business. Additionally, organizations can easily and quickly adjust to market changes (they don’t need to build bigger data centers – they can simply request more resources and tools from cloud vendors). The cloud has made remote working significantly simpler. With data and software accessible via the internet, employees can carry out their duties from practically anywhere – all they need is an internet connection. 

It seems like there are multiple benefits of moving to the cloud – what are the risks?

What are the security risks of cloud computing?

With cloud technology being continuously developed in order to meet the various requirements of different companies, there are many things that can go wrong in terms of the security of your data and business software. You need to know how to protect yourself from the most significant threats. 

1. Limited visibility and control

As we have often mentioned in our articles, cloud vendors manage their cloud infrastructure for you. You don’t have to waste your precious time maintaining it; hence you have more time to deal with the core challenges of your industry. This is good in a way, but in this case, your visibility and control over some operations are reduced. Organizations have to monitor and assess their data safety without access to network-based monitoring and logging. This model of cooperation leaves you unaware of some important security problems that your infrastructure may have, so you never know exactly what additional solutions you could apply to your cloud in order to make it more secure.  

2. Cyberattacks

By choosing to use a cloud environment for your projects, you hardly ever get separated from other users. While that is a benefit, it is also a drawback; after all, you move large amounts of sensitive data through the internet. By selecting this approach, you are opening yourself up to cyberthreats. There are many ways to lose data or access to your software. If your systems are not protected well enough, you can experience a data breach – unauthorized access to your databases or software by someone seeking to steal or destroy your business information. There are many types of cyberattacks that can compromise your systems. As cybercriminals come up with more and more ways to achieve their goals, you should keep learning about methods that can prevent such attacks.

3. Infrastructure complexity 

Moving to the cloud is challenging in and of itself. Vendors offer a wide variety of services to the business customer, and it can be hard to know what to choose. It is not easy to build your dream business infrastructure in the cloud, and transferring your data to it will not be simple either. In order to deal smoothly with data migration, integrating new services and managing many operations in the cloud, you need to assemble a team of IT professionals with a specific set of skills and experience. 

4. Compliance

Today, one of the greatest responsibilities of any company is to ensure the safety of customer data. To improve and unify data privacy standards, governments have cooperated to create standards like GDPR, HIPAA or PCI DSS. The best way to meet those standards is to reduce the number of users who can access certain data. The cloud and different cloud-based tools are leveraged by various users so, in order to secure your data, you should control access to it and monitor who tries to interact with it.

5. Insecure integrations

Businesses now tend to customize their cloud service experience by adding multiple solutions to their infrastructure. Integrating various business tools comes with risks. APIs (application programming interfaces) enable companies to sync data and automate data workflows among different cloud systems. If a certain API won’t be able to ensure enough security, your systems and data may be accessed by unauthorized users. If you want to deal with that threat, you should only select APIs that support proper authentication and authorization protocols.

What cybersecurity solutions are leveraged by cloud providers?

Cloud vendors provide users with many cybersecurity solutions. Automatic backups of your data secures your business information and allows you to work even if the physical servers in a data center fails. Some cloud service providers check the integrity of all data copies from time to time to make sure that they will be ready-to-use whenever you need them. 

In many cases, cloud storage is monitored by cybersecurity experts. Such professionals search for suspicious digital activity in their cloud storage infrastructure and act upon it, if necessary. They also come up with new security patches to solve current weaknesses of the cloud services. If you worry this is not enough, you should use encryption. End-to-end or zero-knowledge encryption ensures encryption of your data in the cloud, and guarantees that only you have the encryption key. This way, only you can interpret your data. This is not such a common solution, but some cloud vendors support it. 

Simple techniques and good practices will allow you to secure your data even better. First, remember to keep your encryption key safely hidden somewhere, where hackers cannot get it. Second, two-factor authentication is now becoming very popular. By splitting your verification process into two steps, you make it harder for attackers to access your accounts. Three, disconnect your devices from the cloud when not in use. After all, you don’t need to be logged in when you’re not working in the cloud. 

How can you ensure data privacy when using the cloud?

The confidentiality of your business data is essential for your business success. All those people (co-workers, business partners, employees and customers) who have entrusted you with their data hope that you will store and process it according to the highest standards. Failing to meet their requirements means not only that you might end up being charged with extremely high penalties, but also that you could lose the trust of your potential clients forever.

The cloud has great potential for many companies, and the above-mentioned threats should not stand in your way, and stop you from benefiting from a serverless approach. All you have to do is to pick cloud services from the right providers, analyze the cybersecurity techniques that are already in place and complement them with additional solutions. Ask us about the best cybersecurity software for your business.

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Author

  • Paweł works with cloud computing technologies, especially as a Data Engineer on the Google Cloud Platform. His favourite areas are data pipeline performance tuning and financial optimization. He loves mountain sports and exciting cuisine.

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